50th FALL HIKING SPREE EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 15
For the first time ever, the Fall Hiking Spree will continue into December.
The 50-year-old event, which began in 1964 to encourage residents to explore Summit County’s Metro Parks, is a three-month series that usually ends November 30. This year only, the park district will allow visitors to hike and earn spree credit through December 15. The reason: the government shutdown.
“Our parks remained open during the shutdown, but we received hundreds of calls and questions from people who thought they were closed. Some are now worried about finishing the spree,” Metro Parks spokesperson Nathan Eppink said. “We don’t want the hiking spree purists to think of the extra time as cheating. It’s an anniversary year gift.”
Each year, more than 12,000 people complete at least eight trails and earn hiking rewards. A first-year hiker earns a hiking staff and shield. A veteran hiker earns a shield. Rewards are free to Summit County residents. Out-of-county residents pay to receive their awards ($10/first-year; $5/veteran).
The park district was not affected by the shutdown because its parks and trails are funded by a 1.46-mill Summit County real-estate tax.
Hiking forms are available online at summitmetroparks.org, the visitors center at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm (1828 Smith Rd., Akron), the park district's administrative offices (975 Treaty Line Rd., Akron) and all Acme Fresh Market stores. Forms can be redeemed, as originally scheduled, through March 31, 2014.
For more information, visit summitmetroparks.org or call 330-865-8065.